Using the Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V

Pages
Contributors: jimblom
Favorited Favorite 10

Introduction

The original, true-blue Arduino is open-source hardware, which means anyone is free to download the design files and spin their own version of the popular development board. SparkFun has jumped on this opportunity and created all sorts of Arduino variants, each with their own unique features, dimensions, and applications. Now one of those variants has landed in your hands; congratulations! It's a wild world out there in microcontroller-land, and you're about to take your first step away from the wonderful -- though sometimes stifling -- simplicity of the Arduino Pro Mini. There are two variants, the 5V/16MHz and the 3.3V/8MHz.

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz

DEV-11113
$9.95
130
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 3.3V/8MHz

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 3.3V/8MHz

DEV-11114
$9.95
46

For the scope of this tutorial, we'll go over how to set up and use the 3.3V Arduino Pro Mini, everything from assembling the tiny Arduino to programming it.

Required Materials

To follow along, you'll need a few extra items. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary. At a minimum you will need, some headers, USB cable, and FTDI. The FTDI Basic will be used to program (and power) the Pro Mini. The headers are optional, but they're our preferred way to interface other devices to the Pro Mini.

Tools

Assembly of the Pro Mini also requires soldering. This is a great place to start soldering, if you've never done it before! The joints are all easy, through-hole jobs. So grab a soldering iron, some solder and general soldering accessories.

Soldering Iron - 60W (Adjustable Temperature)

Soldering Iron - 60W (Adjustable Temperature)

TOL-14456
$14.95
7
Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube

Solder Lead Free - 15-gram Tube

TOL-09163
$3.50
2

Suggested Reading

This project tutorial builds on a few more conceptual tutorials. If you're not familiar with the subjects below, consider reading through their respective tutorials first:

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Serial Communication

Asynchronous serial communication concepts: packets, signal levels, baud rates, UARTs and more!

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway?

Logic Levels

Learn the difference between 3.3V and 5V devices and logic levels.

How to Install FTDI Drivers

How to install drivers for the FTDI Basic on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

SparkFun USB to Serial UART Boards Hookup Guide

How to use the SparkFun FTDI based boards to program an Arduino and access another serial device over the hardware serial port, without unplugging anything!